We had a few issues with links on Facebook not going through to the blog this week. When that happens, if we don't address it immediately, just come to http://www.episcopalcafe.com directly and click the appropriate blog--most of the time, that will be The Lead. In addition, we'll be posting images from the art blog directly to the Facebook page from time to time.
Regarding our post on billboards warning that May 21 will be Judgment Day, reader Charles Browning quipped, "This is my wedding date... I really want their t-shirts for the bachelor party!" You can wish him well at this thread.
Our post about a priest being told not to adopt Muslim spiritual practice for Lent generated a lot of comments, both here and on Facebook. Kate Jackson noted that Lent isn't a one-size-fits-all season regardless:
I mean, really, all the various denominations can't even agree on what we should be doing during one single worship service, let alone all throughout a holy season. That and Lent is so highly personal a time of inward reflection and change, I think it would vary from person to person, parish to parish, region to region, and country to country.
Some people meditate privately on Christ's sacrifice, some attend church more often, some fast or abstain...you can't really put a definitive label on how a person chooses to sacrifice of themselves, their time, their way of life.
John Andrews wonders how such study could be harmful. "Living on the Navajo Nation and learning about and participating in Dine' spiritual practices served to enhance my understanding of my Christian faith, making it even more meaningful to me. I see no reason why learning about and using practices of Islam would not do the same."
And as several folks both here and on Facebook pointed out, the way this is playing out in the public sphere is unfortunate. Mike Kinman notes, "Unfortunately, the way these things are covered generates much more heat than light. The same day this story ran, a local rabbi wrote an excellent, insightful blogpost on the same website about what "real interfaith encounter" might look like. Sadly, it has not gotten a fraction of the readership or response the article about Steve and our Bishop has." He's talking about Rabbi Hyim Shafner's The Pope’s Exoneration of the Jews: A Step Back from Real Interfaith Encounter, in case you wanted to read it.